The Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) has announced the release of two abducted members – Cynthia Okereke and Clemson Agbogidi.
Emeka Rollas, its National President, announced this in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos.
“They were released by their abductors who were touched by the spirit of God to set them free and unharmed,” he stated in the statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria .
The guild on July 29 announced the abduction of the duo after family members confirmed they had not come back from a location at Ozalla town in Enugu State.
In the Wednesday statement it said that the kidnapped actors had been released unhurt.
“The guild has arranged for medical check-up and psychological support for the victims.
“On behalf of their families, we express our heartfelt appreciation to Nollywood industry and Nigerians at large for the support and prayers during the trying period,” the statemenr said.
Rollas urged members to be security conscious on and off film sets and always take precautionary measures on their personal security at all times.
NAN reports that 57-year-old Okereke is a famous television personality, entrepreneur and a philanthropist while Abogidi is a veteran actor, movie producer and writer famous for his native doctor and chief priest roles in movies.
Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno on Wednesday paid surprise visits to farmers in four Local Government Areas to discuss challenges facing rural farmers in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the governor visited not fewer than 10 farms in the outskirts of Maiduguri Metropolitan, Mafa, Jere, and Dikwa local government areas.
Zulum who monitored farming activities in the areas and discussed with the farmers explained to them that the challenge on fertiliser was caused by the insurgency.
“We have long been in receipt of a security letter from the office of the National Security Adviser which placed ban on the usage of urea as well as NPK across Borno State because insurgents use these fertiliser components to produce improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
“It will, therefore, not augur well for the government of Borno State to distribute fertiliser as is the case in most states,” Zulum said.
The governor, however, explained that the only option was to distribute liquid fertiliser.
Zulum, who expressed satisfaction with the increase in farming activities as a result of relative peace and improved security in the state, said it was for that reason that he directed the allocation of farm inputs and tractors to farmers in all the three Senatorial zones of the state.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to focus more on agriculture and strengthening of agro rangers and other security groups to sustain safe farming activities across the state.
The Students Union Government (SUG) of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso on Wednesday mourned the killing of kidnapped Racheal Opadele, a final year student of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts of the institution.
Mr Anuoluwa Adeboye, the SUG President of LAUTECH, who made this known in a statement in Ogbomoso, said that the development had brought a dark moment to the institution.
Adeboye said that Rachael was kidnapped where she was working at hotel in a community close to LAUTECH.
He recounted that the Students Union Government immediately wrote Governments, security operatives, and all concerned stakeholders to see to her rescue without her dying but all efforts prooved abortive.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the gruesome killing of our dear student, Rachael, a final year student of LAUTECH, that was kidnapped where she was working in Ogbomoso due to ASUU strike on behalf of the entire students of LAUTECH.
“This is a dark moment in our school as we were lashed with the death of one of us.
“We were consumed when we first heard about her kidnap and we led the team to write to Governments, security operatives, and all concerned stakeholders to see to her release without her dying.
“It’s so disheartening and terrible to have heard her dead in the early hours of today, “he said.
He call on the government to administer justice on Opadele’s killers.
“The government should act fast and let justice be served.
As a matter of urgency, we are challenging the government to present to the public the killer(s) of our dear colleague.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Rachael Opadele was abducted in the early hours of Friday in an hotel at Aaba, a community close to LAUTECH.
She was said to be working at the hotel following the ongoing protacted ASUU strike that has kept all Nigerian students outside the institutions.
The LAUTECH SUG, in its July 30 statement, said that students could no longer walk or move freely, sleep conveniently, travel, or do anything without fear of being abducted or kidnapped, robbed, raped, or maimed within or outside the University Community.
Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin have progressed to the round of 16 of the 2022 Aiteo Federation Cup competition after defeating Ottasolo FC of Lagos 4-3 on penalty kicks.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the round of 32 match which ended 1-1 after full time was played at the Kwara Stadium Complex in Ilorin on Wednesday.
Bendel Insurance drew the first blood in the fifth minute through Imade Osarenkhoe after a fine finish.
The Nigeria National League (NNL) side thereafter had more of the possession to keep the result 1-0 going into the break.
Ottasolo FC responded better to their half-time team talk than their Benin counterparts as they controlled possession for more part of the second half.
The Lagos-based NNL side were rewarded for their work when Shina Ayodele struck beautifully for them in the 53rd minute to even the scores.
Both sides then struggled for the winning goal but they could only settle for a one-all draw before the penalty kicks shootout.
Bendel Insurance thereafter scored four of their five kicks to take them into the next round of the competition.
It was not a great outing for Nigeria in the men’s and women’s 100m track events at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the six athletes who featured in both events for Team Nigeria failed to make a podium finish.
The men’s 100m was won by Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanlaya while Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah got the gold medal in the women’s category.
Nigeria was not represented in the men’s finals as the trio of Godson Oghenekevwe, Favour Ashe and Raymond Ekevwo fell short in the semi-finals and failed to reach Wednesday’s final.
Oghenekevwe ran 10.52 seconds in the first semi-final to finish in ninth place, while Ekevwo ran 10.36 secs to place seventh in the third semi-final.
Ashe, who had a better time among the trio, fell short by a spot, finishing third place in semi-final two.
Still, Ashe’s time could not get him a qualification among the best losers.
The women’s event witnessed Rosemary Chukwuma and Grace Nwokocha reaching the final, while Joy Udo-Gabriel could not progress after ending in sixth place in the second semi-final.
Meanwhile, Chukwuma ran 11.17 secs, followed closely by Nwokocha in 11.18 secs to finish fourth and fifth respectively in the race.
In the men’s high jump event, Mike Edwards finished in sixth place, jumping a height of 2.19 metres which could not secure him a medal.
Athletics events, amongst other sports, continue on Thursday with Nigeria looking to add to the eight medals they have won so far at the Games.
Absence of a prosecution witness on Wednesday stalled the trial of one Abiodun Amusa charged with N88.1 million fraud before an Ikeja Special Offences Court.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Amusa is standing trial on a four-count charge bordering on possession of fraudulent documents and retention of proceeds of criminal conduct.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting him.
EFCC counsel, Mr Samuel Daji, told the court on Wednesday that prosecution had planned to close its case but its last witness could not make it to the court.
Daji prayed the court for a short adjournment to enable it to present the witness for evidence.
Defence counsel, Mr Olarewaju Ajanaku, did not object to the submission.
NAN reports that the defendant had pleaded not guilty to the charge when he was arraigned on Nov. 1, 2021. EFCC alleges that the defendant had between Oct. 24, 2020 and Aug. 20, 2021 in Lagos, retained N88.1 million in his First Bank account which he knew to be proceeds of various internet and cyber crimes.
According to the commission, the alleged offences contravene Sections 1 (3)(d), 6 (8)(b) and 17 (a)(b) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences, 2006. Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case until Aug. 12 for further hearing.
The Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc., Mr Roosevelt Ogbonna, has enjoined corporate entities to embrace technology, to stay afloat in the increasingly competitive market place.
Delivering a keynote address at the unveiling of an app, known as “Cydene Express’’ in Lagos on Wednesday, Ogbonna said that corporate entities failing to keep pace with technology and innovations would go into extinction sooner than later.
Ogbonna said that technology had caused disruptions in markets across the globe, a development he said, had resulted to untimely deaths for many corporate entities.
“Globally, disruptions have become the order of the day and technology is at the heart of that disruption, therefore, any entity that fails to shape up will naturally ship out.
’’ He lauded Mr Skalid Obi, the software developer, who built the “Cydene Express’’ app for inventing a software that would help thousands of Nigerian homes to ensure efficient use of household utilities.
“Mr Obi and his team at Cydene Energy Services have thrown up a challenge to other Nigerian youths to bring change through the creation of innovative technologies and ideas.
The Access Bank chief described the new app as a value-added platform that would give easy access to utilities and services in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Executive Vice-Chairman of Techno Oil Ltd., Mrs Nkechi Obi, praised the software developer for his tenacity and commitment to bridging the gap in delivering utility services to households.
She, however, told the Federal Government and corporate entities to find ways to encourage young Nigerians to embrace innovations and technologies that would contribute to nation growth.
Earlier, Skalid, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Cydene Energy Services, said that the company developed “Cydene Express’’, to boost the adoption of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) among Nigerian households.
He said that the company was prompted to develop the app, to bridge the gap in accessing and paying for household utilities from the comfort of homes.
“At Cydene Energy, we have built a socially inclusive app that can accommodate Nigerians.
With this app, Nigerians can now securely purchase utilities while maintaining comfort and maximizing productivity.
“We realised the need to own the management system in other to understand the logistics of delivering services from merchants to consumers.
” He said that with the introduction of the app, the Federal Government’s effort to boost LPG adoption as cooking fuel via the National LPG Expansion Plan would receive a boost.
A Director of Cydene Energy Services, Mr Sam Ochonma, said that the app was also handy in making payments for other utilities such as airtime, cable television and electricity bills.
He explained that users could send money to friends and families to pay for utilities, using the app.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that up to 10,000 Nigerian households have embraced the app for efficient use of household utilities.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says it is carrying out economic and financial audits of the remaining eight domestic airlines in the country.
Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General, NCAA, during an interview with journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, said that the aim was to determine the health conditions of the airlines.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the number of scheduled domestic operators went down last week, from eight from 10, following the suspension of two airlines Nuhu said that the regulatory body was already carrying out intensive financial and economic audits on three other indigenous airlines, while the remaining would be done in batches.
”While Aero Contractors voluntarily suspended its operations, NCAA grounded the services of Dana Air following its alleged failure to run safe operations.
”The remaining eight scheduled airlines are Air Peace, Arik Air, Max Air, Green Africa, United Nigeria, Overland, Azman Air and Ibom Air,” he said.
The NCAA boss decried the current difficult operating environment for operators which was further escalated by the scarcity of foreign exchange and high price of Jet A1. He, however, said that NCAA would not relegate safety to the background.
He said: “We are currently conducting financial and economic audits of airlines in the country.
We have done two or three and other airlines will be taken in batches.
I will discuss with the airline’s management on the way forward.
“Like I said, we have a financial crisis and we don’t want it to cross over into a safety crisis.
We need to manage the situation.
“For now, we remain focused while working to address the solution to the financial difficulties in the airlines.
This cannot go on forever.
So, we are working round-the-clock to find a solution.
“Yes, it is a very difficult situation, but we are just going to do what we are doing.
We are working together and collaborating with others to address the situation in the industry.
The director-general said that NCAA was doing its best to keep the industry safe.
”Safety is paramount to us.
Anything that affects safety will not be compromised whatsoever.
It is better for the airlines to be shut down than to have a major incident,” he said On Dana’s suspension of operations, Nuhu said that following the financial and economic audit of the airline, the NCAA discovered some “grave concerns” in the operations of the airline that could affect safety.
He, however, said that the audit of the airline was still ongoing, adding that the agency would give the airline a clear chance to resolve whatever issue it was having.
He added that what NCAA officials found out was of grave concern to them.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Wednesday urged commercial banks and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to join hands to grow the economy.
Mr Mansur Ahmed, President of MAN, gave the advice at the first National Stakeholders Conference organised by the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the conference supported by Access Bank, Ecobank, FirstBank and Zenith Bank had: “Promoting Synergy Between the Banking Industry and the Organised Private Sector,’’ as the theme.
Ahmed said that the performance and development of both sectors were expedient for the sustainability of the economy; hence, the need for both sectors to work together to reduce poverty, attract investment and boost economic growth.
“The traditional industry-bank lending relationship is no longer supporting the growth of the industry, the bank and the economy, as a whole.
“ Industry activities have massively declined showing rising number of moribund industries across the country and the increasing capital flight.
“ Based on this information, it is important that the commercial banks and the industry should come together to chart new ways of supporting each other to the benefit of all.
“ There is no doubt that the industry needs the bank to increase investment and production while the bank needs the industry for interest payment incomes and equity subscription,’’ he said.
He, therefore, recommended that the commercial bank should develop corporate patriotism to strengthen the willingness to lend at the interest rate that supports both the industry and the banking sector for the sake of the economy.
He stressed the need to prioritise attention to industry foreign exchange requests, particularly in this period of acute shortage.
Ahmed represented by Mr Ambrose Oruche, Director, Corporate Services of MAN, also urged the banks to ensure that government or international development funds were well accessed without undue difficult conditionality.
He recommended the creation of a process that would support equipment acquisition in the industry and creation of funds to support industry-bank joint venture for easy financing of specific industry business.
He also suggested the creation of a unit for business support and capacity development for the industry as well as a trade support unit.
Mr Ide Udeagbala, President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), represented by Mr Ayo Osinloye, urged stakeholders to provide answers to the difficult challenges being faced by the private sector.
“They face weak infrastructure, especially in terms of power, transportation, and workspace.
They lack a collective voice and have relatively weak influence of policy formulation.
They have poor access to vital resources, especially finance,” Udeagbala said.
Also speaking, Mr Eboagwu Ezulu, Deputy Director, Financial System Stability Directorate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), advised the OPS to approach the development financing institutions for financial assistance.
“I am aware that the Development Bank of Nigeria was established in collaboration with the CBN to provide funding as well as the Bank of Industry established to support the manufacturing sector.
“Have we the manufacturing sector approached those entities to utilise the funds available rather than asking the commercial banks?
“Banks are supposed to approach the CBN on behalf of their customers to solve these problems; the commercial banks lend for credit purpose, they have the primary responsibility to protect their depositors,’’ Ezulu said Dr Ken Opara, the CIBN President, noted that the organised private sectors were the real drivers of real sector growth and economic advancement through industrialisation, job creation, provision of goods and services and poverty alleviation.
“Thus a well-functioning financial system and a rigorous private sector are important drivers of national growth in terms of Gross Domestic Product, employment generation, economic stability and poverty reduction.
“However, I must admit that there are still a lot of untapped opportunity between these two critical sectors some of which are attributable to lack of proper handshake between the bodies.
“Given the interdependence of both sector, it has become imperative for both to work mutually for the growth of the nation’s economy,’’ Opara said.
Earlier, Mr Rasheed Bolarinwa, President ACAMB, said that the outlook of the conference was essentially to develop a workable roadmap for the two sectors to synergise for the benefit of the national economy.
“Finance, the essence of banking is the driving force for the private sector.
Capital, is probably the primary factor of production.
“On the other side, the private sector, as the end users of banking services and the largest sector of the economy, is also conversely the driver of a sustainable and viral banking sector.
“So, I will say there is a symbiotic relationship between the two sectors, banking is important to the private sector, just as the private sector is important to the banks.
That explains why this conference is taking place.
“So, it is safe to conclude that the more active and synergistic the relationship between banking and private sector, the more we are collectively able to develop and grow the national economy for sustainable Nigeria,’’ he said.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Kwara says it will begin the enforcement of motorcycle or “okada” registration in the state on Aug. 8. The Kwara Sector Commander of FRSC, Mr Fredrick Ogidan, made this known in Ilorin on Wednesday during a meeting with officials of the Okada Riders Association of Nigeria (ORAN).
Ogidan noted that motorcycles were a major source of movement nationwide, saying there is need to have their information on the database in order to track them in any case of theft or other crimes.
He said that the enforcement was a directive from the Corps headquarters as a result of the proposed plan on the ban of okada nationwide.
The sector commander therefore urged them to pass the message to their members, while tasking them on adherence to road safety.
“I welcome you to this meeting and I appreciate you for your support.
This meeting I know will further strengthen the collaboration between the corps and your association.
“We are meeting today to inform and enlighten you on the enforcement of motorcycle registration which will begin on Monday, Aug. 8. “We want you all to ensure your okada is registered properly and with government approved number plates.
“Motorcycles are being used to commit a lot of crimes these days and we want a society that is free of crime.
“So we are pleading with you to go back and inform members of your association to ensure their okada is registered,’’ he said.
Ogidan also advised them to desist from accepting people without registered motorcycles into their association, adding that it can tarnish the image of the association if such motorcycle was stolen and used to commit crimes.
He advised them to visit the Kwara Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) to register their motorcycles in order to boost the state’s internal revenue, which in turn would contribute to infrastructural development.
Responding, the Vice-Chairman of ORAN, Mr Usman Issa, appreciated the corps for their support and cooperation with the association.
Issa, however, pleaded that more time should be given to them to inform their members of the development.
He said that about 95 per cent of their members were registered while promising that the association will call for a meeting to inform members on the enforcement.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that present at the meeting were the Kwara Sector Commander, Fredrick Ogidan; the Deputy Chairman ORAN, Mr Usman Issa; the ORAN General Secretary, Mr Abdulazeez Jimoh, and other top officers of the FRSC.